Thai PTTEP Says Keen To Buy Stake In Myanmar Gas Field From Chevron
BANGKOK, May 24 (Reuters) - PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP), Thailand's largest oil and gas explorer, said on Tuesday it was keen to buy a stake in Yadana gas field in Myanmar from Chevron Corp.
PTTEP, the flagship in the upstream business of PTT Pcl , was in talks to buy stakes in several oil and gas fields in Thailand and Southeast Asia, and expected to conclude at least one deal this year, Pannalin Mahawongtikul, executive vice president for finance, told reporters.
PTTEP, which is also interested in buying a stake in Bongkot offshore gas field from BG Group, has cash of $3.7 billion, enough for acquisitions, Pannalin said.
"We focus on projects which are operating, so that we can book revenue immediately after the purchase," she said adding Myanmar will be the company's major investment outside Thailand.
PTTEP has said it aimed to increase investments at home and Southeast Asia to secure long term energy supplies. It set production target of 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) by 2020.
Chevron owns 28.3 percent of the Yadana gas field in Myanmar. The U.S. oil major has put its Myanmar gas block stakes worth an estimated $1.3 billion up for sale, banking sources familiar with the matter said in April.
Yadana is one of three major gas fields in Myanmar supplying to Thailand, which uses natural gas of almost 70 percent of its power generation.
PTTEP, which made loss last year due to weak oil prices, could make a small profit this year due to cost cuts and if average Dubai oil prices were at $40 a barrel, Pannalin said.
The company uses Dubai crude prices as benchmark and expected its average product prices of $35-36 a barrel, down from $45 last year, she said.
PTTEP aimed to cut its $2 billion budget for capital expenditure by 10 percent this year and reduce its cost per unit to below $34 a barrel from $38.88 last year, she said.
PTTEP, along with PTT group, has cut its operating costs and delay new investments in foreign projects to minimise the impact from declines in global oil prices.
(Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Michael Perry)
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